Nurses and staff at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland

Oregonians – and others – are now protected against huge surcharges on their medical bills 

BY: - March 15, 2022

Some Oregonians will save tens of thousands of dollars – and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars – in medical costs this year under a new federal law. The No Surprises Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, prevents insurers from charging clients extra for out-of-network providers or services in hospitals. The law […]

Aerial shot of VA center in Portland

Modernization plan would improve care, shorten travel times for Oregon veterans

BY: - March 15, 2022

Oregon veterans would get better and in some cases faster medical care under a restructuring proposed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Released Monday, the plan would modernize health care facilities in Oregon and southwest Washington, add services at some locations, create two new clinics and shorten the time veterans in rural areas spend […]

VA eyes major changes in health care system as veterans flock to the South, Southwest

BY: - March 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday began the years-long process of restructuring its nationwide health care network, an endeavor that will require the president and Congress to sign off before it could begin. The restructuring would mean the closures or consolidations of some medical facilities, likely provoking opposition from communities and […]

A health care professional picks up a vial of vaccine

Pandemic reaches ‘watershed’ moment, with end of mask mandate

BY: - March 11, 2022

Oregon is shifting its strategy to deal with the coronavirus, with the lifting of most mask mandates.  At midnight on Friday, masks will no longer be required in schools and public places in Oregon, Washington and California. “We can close the emergency phase of Oregon’s Covid response,” Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority […]

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen returns to work after weeks of recovery

BY: - March 11, 2022

Patrick Allen, the director of the Oregon Health Authority, returned to duty this week after a long absence. The agency declined to respond to requests for more information. He was working at his home in Sherwood throughout much of the pandemic. It’s not clear whether he is continuing to work from home. Allen had a […]

magic mushrooms growing on a tree

Thousands of Oregonians eager to undergo psilocybin treatment under state program

BY: - March 8, 2022

Thousands of people in Oregon are interested in using psilocybin as a mental health treatment and hundreds are interested in becoming licensed to treat patients or offer services under the voter-approved program. Among more than 4,400 people who responded to a survey by the Oregon Health Authority, nearly 4,200 said they would like to access […]

Though hospitalizations now at 400, Oregon will keep mask mandates through March 11

BY: - March 4, 2022

The decline in hospitalizations of patients with Covid has been more rapid than forecast but state officials say they are leaving mask mandates in place for another week. As of Thursday, about 400 people with Covid were hospitalized in Oregon, about 120 less than last week. The state had set 400 as the benchmark when […]

STATUS CHECK: Where key legislative bills are on week 5

BY: - March 4, 2022

The five-week session of the Oregon Legislature kicked off with lawmakers filing more than 200 bills. Those have been whittled down by House and Senate committees. Bills that didn’t pass out of committee by the end of the day on Feb. 14 died. Those that require the use of state funds must be considered by […]

Education Department offers new guidance as schools ready to drop mask mandates

BY: - March 2, 2022

The Oregon Department of Education released updated guidance for school districts on Wednesday that ends some testing protocols and contact tracing.  The changes to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework – a roadmap for keeping schools open and students safe during the pandemic – comes as schools prepare for the end of state mask […]

Legislature moves towards approval of a bill that would regulate kratom

BY: - March 2, 2022

A proposal that passed the state House on Wednesday would give Oregon consumers of kratom more assurance about the safety of these products. House Bill 4010 would regulate the manufacturing and sales of kratom, which is sold in various forms and used as a stimulant or painkiller. The proposal would require processors and retailers to […]

Budget plan would aid low-income Oregonians and help with housing, child care, job training

BY: , and - March 1, 2022

New state spending designed to improve the lives of Oregonians by helping thousands of homeless residents obtain shelter, providing access to clean water in small, rural towns and enabling more than 100,000 students to take summer classes appears headed to legislative approval. “We are seizing this opportunity to send direct relief to Oregonians and deliver […]

An ambulance outside Oregon Health & Science University's emergency department.

Majority in Legislature push for plan to ensure that 55,000 Oregonians have health care coverage

BY: - March 1, 2022

Democratic lawmakers, union leaders, some health care advocates and the Oregon Health Authority are pushing a proposal to keep tens of thousands of Oregonians who risk losing free Medicaid coverage on a health care plan. Without the plan, authorities worry that more people will be without insurance and in turn delay or avoid medical care. […]